Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the AFC President, presented General Khiev Sameth, the AFF President, with a plaque to commemorate AFF’s official acceptance as a Regional Association of the AFC in Paris yesterday. AFC, at its Congress in Kuala Lumpur last year, had officially recognised the five Regional Associations, including the AFF.
Speaking after the presentation, General Sameth said: “We are honoured and humbled to be recognised by the AFC as a region. The Asean region has tremendous growth potential. We are looking forward to working closely with AFC to do more for our 12 MAs and especially for the over 640 million fans in the region.
General Khiev Sameth was later congratulated by Shaikh Salman and Gianni Infantino, the FIFA President.
Speaking on the appointments of the regional representatives, Shaikh Salman said: “The AFC is only as strong as its Members and to increase that strength and to develop an even tighter bond with those Member Associations, we today make another bold step.
“We endorse the nominations of the AFC’s three Regional Associations to join our Executive Committee. This will be another important link between the AFC and its Members.”
Earlier, the AFC Executive Committee, approved the appointment of Pol. Gen. Somyot Poompanmoung assuming the co-opted seat for the AFF.
“I would like to congratulate the President of The Thai FA, Pol. General Somyot for being co- opted into the AFC Executive Committee. His leadership and vast experience will be an asset to Asian Football,” General Sameth said.
The recognition from AFC is a testament of the tremendous work done by AFF in Southeast Asia over the years. Since it was formed in 1984 with six countries, the AFF has continued to push the boundaries in an effort to raise the standard of the game. This included the organising a series of annual youth competitions which has contributed significantly in helping MAs qualify for the final rounds of the AFC and FIFA competitions.